William Jordan Verbeck
"The work which follows is by no means a thorough or complete history of the Twenty First Infantry Regiment in World War II. To my knowledge no such history has yet been written. I have, however, a number of official accounts of some of our actions. These I have edited and put together with whatever other information available in order to have at least some form of published record. I am publishing this work in response to numerous requests from members and former members of the 21st Infantry as a chronicle of our days together in combat.
Most of the description concerning the Hollandia Operation was submitted by Lieut. Colonel Roy W. Marcy. The sketches after Page 37 and Page 52 were drawn by Mr. Lawrence E. Hickman another former 21st Infantryman. Great thanks are due to Lieut. Colonel Judson MacIvor Smith for the material on Pages 3, 4, 5 and 6 which were taken from his book "The Story of a Regiment" -- a history of the 21st Infantry. Thanks are also due to Mr. Arthur Amos, Jr. for the cover, Miss Ruth Middleton for typing the manuscript and to Mr. T. L. Tuggle for supervising the multilith operations of reproduction.
I would be glad to receive information from anyone who can furnish more complete data for inclusion in a future, more complete work. Also any corrections or suggested changes will be very welcome."
William J. Verbeck, Colonel, Infantry, Commanding Officer of Troops, U.S.M.A., West Point, N.Y.
American National Red Cross
This booklet will confine itself to describing the work done by those American Red Cross men and women who are giving direct, personal services to the members of the armed forces on the military front or to their families on the home front. To isolate this cross section of Red Cross activity from the body of all Red Cross war work is to sacrifice the complete story of the Red Cross war jobs for the Army and Navy. That is a story of many themes -- to name only a few: jobs as essential as collecting blood for plasma; or supplying surgical dressings, comfort articles, garments for the hospitalized; or recruiting nurses; or training nurse's aides.
Nevertheless, the American families of some 11,300,000 servicemen want to know the answers to particular, personal questions: What is the American Red Cross doing for the serviceman himself? What are its representatives doing for him when he is homesick and worried, bored, restless, sick or wounded? What are they doing for him in the field, the leave area, the hospital? What are they doing when he returns home, discharged, and has problems resulting from his service? The trained men and women who are, we are told, "at his side" -- who are they, what facilities do they have to work with, and exactly how do they work? Finally, how do the Red Cross chapters here at home help him and his family?
This booklet tries to answer these questions for the millions of deeply interested families and neighbors of men and women in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. In so doing it must stick closely to them and to those personal Red Cross services which are theirs wherever they go, whatever their jobs.
Penn G. Dively and United States Army
"From the cities, villages, hamlets and farms of almost every State in the Union came the "fighting men" of the 957th Field Artillery Battalion -- a 155 mm Howitzer unit which contributed "prompt, accurate and devastating fire support" for every major campaign against the German enemy in France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and Germany. The pages of this organization history, pictures and statistics are dedicated to the men and officers who gave unstintingly of their blood, life, time and talents to assure the success of the Continental Campaign and the Cause -- the Cause of International Freedom. It is our desire that this volume will be to all who peruse its pages a friendly reminder of the devotion and singleness of purpose which marked the years of Training, Preparation and Combat."
Ernest W. Fritz and United States Army
This book has been compiled from official and unofficial sources to afford men who have been in combat with the 393rd Infantry a review of the Regiment's action in the European Theater of Operations. With emphasis placed on the unit rather than individual action, the book has omitted stories of personal heroism.
Names of men in pictures have been purposely omitted. To each man. who fought with the 393rd Infantry belongs credit for the hard-fought battle. To him belongs also the privilege of relating his deeds. Some five thousand men participated with the regiment in combat -- to each this book is the background of his own fight.
Effort has been made to show action of every section that comprises an infantry regiment in combat. A sincere endeavor was made to encompass all who played a part in building a fighting team.
Benjamin Gise, Van Ness Richards, and United States Army
From the Foreword:
"The writing of this book began shortly before V~E day. Together with what had been scribbled in the unit history journal and more carefully entered in the more ostentatious records, refreshing notes and photographs submitted by battery representatives were used in the telling and illustrating of this integrated story of the 863d AAA A W Bn.
In this presentation, it was impossible to obtain and relate personal anecdotes involving each man in the battalion. Whether or not you are mentioned specifically, it is our hope that you see yourself described, albeit anonymously, in the experiences and sentiments and moods common to all in this memorable adventure of the 863d.
We have tried to gather and utilize all suitable information brought to our attention to give a full, cohesive, readable story of the battalion and all its officers and men, its campaigns, its missions, its organizational experiences, its troublous days and gayer times- in a word, its life as a military organization from date of activation on 1 June 1943 at Fort Totten, Long Island to V-J Day, 14 August 1945, in and around Bad Soden, Germany."
Sgt. Benjamin Gise, Editor-in-Chief
Harold D. Howenstine
If perchance in the post-war world you encounter a man who says that he fought in Europe with the 745th Tank Battalion, salute him and offer him a drink - - for you have encountered one of the best soldiers in the world. You have encountered a man who has contributed a great deal toward ending the conquests of the Nazis and bringing peace to the world. You have encountered a man of whom the entire army is proud.
Margretta C. Lasch, Eleanor M. Heins, and United States Army Air Forces
From page 17:
Like all other commands, the IX Air Force Service Command is made up of people -- people whose jobs began long before the invasion, endured right up to H-hour and beyond. There were glider pilots, engineers, clerks, mechanics, cooks, doctors, truck drivers; in fact, every conceivable job necessary for victory was filled by an expert who was willing to subordinate everything to the goal ahead. Take the transport pilots, for instance. Red-eyed, flying seemingly endless hours, they operated on a two-way schedule that carried everything from gasoline and guns and bombs to blood plasma and sulfa drugs into Normandy, then carried wounded men back to England on knock-down cots which made ambulances of the Douglas Skytrains. And they did this on schedules which sent ten planes across the Channel every hour.
The achievements of the IX Air Force Service Command are many and varied-it is virtually impossible to enumerate all of them. Perhaps it would be better simply to say that it is the "good right arm" of the Ninth Air Force. And when "service" is wanted by the Ninth, it is the Service Command which provides it as quickly as possible.
Robert C. Mackichan, United States Navy, and Hugh Shannon
You'll be sorry!" With those ominous words ringing in their ears, 1082 embryo Seabees, destined to become the 119th Naval Construction Battalion, passed from civilian life into the receiving center at Camp Peary on a prophetic torrid day in July of 1943.
"You're in the Navy, Mac. Wipe that grin off your face and line up as your name is called." Men who had been welders, electricians, machinists, carpenters, plumbers, shipfitters, and skilled workers in every trade and profession found themselves on a threshold of a new life.
At 5:30 in the early darkness of the next day, the raucous blare of the bugle- their first reveille- awakened them. Sleepy and confused, they were mustered and lined up. They scarcely realized then that for the rest of their service lives they would "sweat out" endless lines for every occasion.
Harris Peel and United States Army
This is the story of one regiment; or rather, it is the story of the men of one regiment. Undoubtedly, the world took little note of the 254th Infantry. To them we were merely a number, a small unit which lost itself in a multitude of small units, a forgotten integer in headlines which screamed only of corps and armies and theaters of war.
But to those of us who fought in the regiment, it was the army, the theater, the war. When our casualties were high, the war was a tough one; when we moved rapidly and the land fell to us like wheat before a reaper, the war was going well.
William T. Powers and United States Navy
The enlistment centers throughout the country were opened to volunteers for the Seabee branch in the latter part of December, 1941, just after the Pearl Harbor incident. In order to induce skilled construction workers to give up highly paid civilian jobs and volunteer for Seabee service, Navy rates were offered. From the ranks of some sixty different building trades, men began to answer the call.
The age range was wide, seventeen to fifty years, and the preponderance of older men, many of them veterans of the last war, soon caused the Bees to become known as "grandpops" among the men of the regular Navy.
Bernard Reidler and United States Army
Headquarters and Headquarters Battery 1 08th Antiaircraft Artillery Group, a new organization in the annals of United States military history, has had a rich and important part in the successful prosecution of this Second Great War just ended.
Activated 1 March 1942 at Camp Davis, North Carolina, as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery 514th Coast Artillery (Antiaircraft) the Group had had the responsibility for providing demonstration, instruction and maintenance personnel for the Antiaircraft School and Antiaircraft Board until October 1943.
Norbert Salpeter, Carl Salter, and United States Army
The 180th Infantry Regiment was organized as the Third Oklahoma Infantry during May, 1918, and was federally recognized as a National Guard unit on September 3, 1918. The unit was redesignated as the 180th Infantry on October 14, 1921.
Units of the regiment were called into state service many times since its organization. In civil disturbances, flood disasters, and other emergencies they performed their ordered duty with credit, thus demonstrating the living reality of part of the regiment's motto, "Ready in Peace or War".
It is interesting to note that the year 1938 found Hitler taking his first toll from the 180th Infantry of the 45th Division. Up to that time the insignia had been an Indian swastika. This close resemblance to the symbol of Nazi Germany constituted a source of embarrassment on several occasions. The Thunderbird was substituted for the swastika.
William F. Sandford and United States Army
The American Third Army is the cockiest of all the armies and the fastest-moving. Long on armor, it is led by Lieut. General George S. Patton Jr. and, like him, it is colorful, proud and bold. Its motto is speed and more speed. Its record is the best possible evidence that Marshall and Eisenhower were right when they refused to fire Patton after the face-slapping incident in Sicily.
The pictorial history of the 493d Armored Field Artillery Battalion of the 12th Armored Division in the European Theater of Operations
Paul H. Shepard and United States Army
The 493rd Armored Field Artillery Battalion was activated on 15 September 1942 at Camp Campbell, Kentucky as a part of the 12th Armored Division. Major General Brewer was designated as Division Commander and Major Barry D. Browne the Battalion Commander.
Edited by Paul H. Shepard Jr.
Written and photographed by officers and men of the battalion
Floyd K. Smith
This is the story, the history, of a group of men; organized out of all walks of life; from the hills and the mountains; the valleys and the plains; from the farms and the cities; from the rich and the poor organized for war. This is a tale that lives deep in in the hearts of these men; their wives, their mothers, sisters and brothers; their children. Written out of toil and sweat; oils and grease; nuts and bolts -- engines, wheels and axles; the things that made modern war possible and hastened its end.
United Service Organizations
"To the 14,000,000 men and women who have served or are serving in the armed forces of the United States, USO means a billion "touches of home" -- an infinite variety of personal services ranging from the routine provision of writing paper to the convalescent care provided by USO hostesses specially trained to help wounded veterans readjust to civilian life.
Taking stock of these services on its fifth anniversary, USO finds that at its peak of activity, it was serving 1,000,000 people a day in one capacity or another, running up to more than 1,100,000,000 the total served since the organization started, February 4, 1941."
United States Air Force Academy
Now the 389th has completed her mission, our use in the service of our country is over. We have seen rivers to cross and have crossed them; roads to be built and they have been made whole; rail-lines to operate and construct and we have done so with a smile even through hardships and in the face of disaster, but our banners have remained unfurled and our spirits have not weakened.
The peace, yea the glorious peace, that comes with Victory is now, ours to behold and adore. Home-town United States of America is now safe from infamous attack by would be aggressors, our shores are safe, the lights are on again all over the world, the sea lanes are clear of U-boats, and our world is again ready to build anew on the principles of the four freedoms: Freedom from fear, freedom from want, freedom from hunger, and freedom from force.
So we can, as we are doing daily, lose the identity of soldiers and resume our civilian activities for a better America and a better world. Still, we will always remember the 389th, for what she has been and will continue to be in our hearts. Keeping always in mind that, if ever, and we pray not, any aggressors or would-be rulers seek to invade our shores, we will rise and in the words of our motto: "Supportamus," we will defend and protect our country's pride. So long fellows and good, smooth sailing.
United States Army
The 19th, under command of Lt. Col. George W. Busbey (class of West Point, 1924), moved to Saco, Maine, with the mission of patrolling the long and irregular coast of Maine from the Canadian border to New Hampshire. Col. Busbey, former instructor at the Cavalry School, Fort Riley, Kansas, had been executive officer of the 16th Regiment. He was distinguished by a pair of waxed handlebar moustaches which gave him the nickname of "Handlebar Hank" on Tennessee maneuvers, but later, in the 19th, he was generally known among the men as "Uncle George."
United States Army
The 320th Engineer Battalion was activated as part of the 95th Infantry Division on July 15, 1942, at Camp Swift, Texas. The enlisted cadre for the Division was furnished by the 7th Infantry Division. The officer cadre had been drawn from many organizations and received refresher courses before reporting to the Division. Additional officers were received direct from Officer Candidate Schools. Maj. Gen. Harry L. Twaddle came from the War Department G-3 to take command of the Division. Lt. Col. Leland B. Kuhre came from the St. Louis Engineer District to command the 320th Engineer Battalion.
United States Army
The 506th Parachute Infantry was activated on 20 July 1942. Prior to this date a small cadre of officers and non-commissioned officers were quartered in a wall tent area which had been euphoniusly named "Camp Toombs". On the shoulders of these officers and men rested the responsibility of forming and training the great regiment which was later to make the camp's new name a famous one -- "Toccoa".
Toccoa was the heat of the Georgia summer and fifty torturous minutes three days a week, pounding six miles up and down a mountain. Toccoa was murderous twenty mile forced marches done at 130 per minute. Toccoa was where men and officers learned how to take and give orders. But above all Toccoa was the crucible which forged the spirit of this regiment, and where men discovered they could go much further and do much much more than they ever imagined.
United States Army
This book is dedicated to those of the 60th Engineers who did not return to enjoy the world they fought for.
United States Army
Passages from Page 11:
"A liaison officer was flown to Alaska ahead of the unit and arrangements were completed by him for the housing, messing and deployment of the troops upon arrival. On the 3rd of April, 1943, the outfit sailed into the beautiful harbor of Seward. The Navy Transport Chaumont was our home for those hectic days at sea and not very many of the boys escaped the inevitable sea-sickness. The sighs of relief were plainly audible when the Chaumont finally docked at Seward and the G.l.s came streaming down the gang-plank.
The Alaska Railroad, which is owned by the Federal Government and Operated by Department of the Interior, proved to be a most important rail line in our operations against the Japs. It was the only means at hand for supplying the interior of Alaska with personnel and material for the defense of the territory and for setting up the offensive structure for our later moves against the Nipponese. The civilian personnel, even in peace times, had never been sufficient to adequately maintain and operate the line. Consequently, when war came, what few civilians remained were totally unable to keep this vital supply line going. Maintenance of the line was at a very low ebb, to such an extent that many of the structures were unsafe for operation. The mechanical personnel could not begin to cope with the problem of keeping the power and cars in shape for hauling war supplies, and the operating men were very few in number. So few were they that they couldn't have kept the trains rolling if they worked continuously twenty-four hours at a stretch, day after day. The result was a tremendous back-log of material piled up at the port of Seward and the port of Whittier had not been opened for through traffic."
For more than twenty-five months, the men of the 714th kept on the job and made the Alaska Railroad tick. Their efforts were duly appreciated and were finally recognized shortly before the unit returned to the States. By command of Lieutenant General. Delos C. Emmons, Commanding General of the Alaskan Department, the 714th was awarded the Meritorious Service Unit Plaque on 4 April, 1945 and entered the United States on the 24th of May, 1945.
United States Army
Basic training had its usual ups and downs. A lot of the boys were introduced to tanks for the first time -- and took to them as smoothly as a shell fits into the breech. By the time the outfit was well into its basic education it furnished enough trained personnel to form the cadre for the 7 42nd tank Battalion. The new baby was commanded by Major Hausman, formerly S-3 of the 752nd. Command of the 752nd parent organization at this time was taken over by Major George F. Bender who had been the Battalion Executive Officer under Col. Anderson.
Most of the kinks of basic training had been ironed out when 752nd left Fort Lewis on April 13, 1942, headed for the Desert Training Center at Camp Young, near Indio, California. Here we started the rough work which was to result in one of the best trained tank outfits in the open market. The outfit was part of the first Tank Group which also included the 755th Tank Battalion.
Notes: (1) Includes roster and (2) written while the battalion was stationed in Italy
United States Army
This little history from 1 February 1943 up to the time of arrival in the ETO has been prepared so that present and former members of the battalion may have a few notes to recall some of the humorous, routine and sometimes serious moments of their days in the 782nd Tank Battalion. All facts and figures are obtained from the official Battalion History which is filed in the Historical Section of the War Department, Washington, D. C. What is to follow has been reworded slightly to make easier reading and if possible to add a laugh, give credit or to add a few bits of information that would ordinarily be lacking from an official communique.
United States Army
Little mention is made anywhere of the actual work of the men who operated the heavy equipment for long hours, sometimes within artillery or mortar range of the enemy, or of those who moved that equipment over long miles' of bad roads in good and bad weather, with C Rations often their only food for days. On occasion, true, these men found a "home" along the way, finding pleasure and entertainment as well as rest and comfort, but not always.
No idea is given of the hours spent by clerks, handling routine matters and emergency reports, in cold (or hot) tents, or in buildings, as chance would have it. Nor of the draftsmen who made charts, preliminary drawings, drawings of changes, final drawings.
Nor yet of the drivers who, with or without patience, carted officers from airfield to airfield, or from site to unsafe site in search of information, or back to Paris over ice and snow to chase supplies or attend a school. Of the cooks who fed their company three meals a day for 27 months, on the move or in permanent stations. Of the thousands of hours spent encoding, decoding, transmitting and receiving signal mes sages, or of the thousands of calls placed to Paris, "Roadbed", "Rowdy" or "Research."
And yet, it takes all of that to add up to the total mission accomplished.
We at Bangor Public Library believe our collection of World War II regimental histories to be one of the largest in a library in the world. We are proud to share with you this collection. We feel presenting these books will open up a new means of studying and experiencing the Second World War for scholars, the curious public, descendants of the soldiers who served, and our surviving servicemen and servicewomen. If you have any questions about a book showcased here or have technical difficulties, feel welcome to contact Patrick Layne by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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